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Coronavirus - Latest information icon

Coronavirus: latest news

We know this is an uncertain time for a lot of people. We've brought together the latest news and updates locally and from the government, so you can see what's happening.

Do you need this page in another language? Click here to get this page (coronavirus latest news) translated.

Use the grey 'ReciteMe' toolbar at the top of the page to change the language. Click the button with 6 flags on (the 11th button) and choose the language you need.

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We also have advice about temperature checks available in 17 different languages.

If reading English is hard for you, call 111. The 111 phone service can get an interpreter to help you.

The charity SignHealth has coronavirus information and advice in British Sign Language (BSL).

What you need to do

Help control the virus

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:

  • wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household

If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least 10 days.

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

More information is available on the Government website.

Going back to work? Government guidance is available on working safely during coronavirus.

Face coverings

It's a legal requirement to wear a face covering in the following places:

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

Not wearing a face covering is against the law and you could be fined. Get a list of all the places you must wear a face covering (including new places).

If you're using public transport, make sure you're familiar with the government's safer travel for passengers guidance before you travel.

Businesses reopening

Many businesses, including shops, restaurants, pubs, hair and nail salons, cinemas, and tattooists are now allowed to reopen. The full list of businesses which can and cannot reopen is available on GOV.UK. It is now a legal requirement to wear a mask in shops, and many businesses will also have their own guidance which you must follow.

A number of changes have been made to our town centre to make it safer for visitors.

1. Public sanitation stations - Nine handwashing stations are to be positioned around the town centre. Good hand hygiene is essential in the fight against Covid-19.

2. Baker and Bedford Streets will be temporarily closed for vehicle access to allow parts of the footpaths and roads to be used by businesses. Parking bays on the western side of Albert Road will be converted to loading bays, to maintain access for businesses on both roads.

3. Free parking - The Captain Cook Square and Zetland multi-storey car parks will reopen on June 15 to provide extra capacity for workers and visitors. Parking will be free across the town for an initial four-week period - including available on-street bays - as the Council looks to support businesses. Car park users are urged to social distance and there will be a limit of one person or household group using lifts at any one time. Frequent cleaning of contact areas will take place within the multi-storeys.

4. One-way systems for pedestrians will be introduced on sections of Linthorpe Road, Corporation Road and Newport Road.

5. Grange Road and the section of Linthorpe Road between Grange Road and Borough Road will be closed to buses and general traffic. Taxis will still have access.

6. Bins for face coverings - Waste bins have been added in public places to allow for safe disposal.

7. Increased regular cleaning of ‘touch points' including pelican crossing buttons and street furniture.

8. Floor signage and graphics to remind people of the need for safe social distancing and queueing.

9. Parking bays on Linthorpe Road between Borough Road and Southfield Road will be suspended to allow more space to assist social distancing and relieve ‘pinch points'.

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